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The Vendée Blog

Badger –vs- Orang-utan

Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 5:21 pm
Category: My Drivel

I found myself on the horns of an ethical dilemma.

Since viewing orang-utans in San Diego and learning of their plight at the hands of rapacious corporations bent on destroying their habitats and replacing rainforest with vast areas of palm oil plantations, my eldest daughter has been mounting a small but vocal campaign on their behalf.

Out from our pantry has gone the chocolate spread, certain brands of savoury snack and quite a few biscuits. I’m not complaining: her diet has improved markedly.

She’s taken her protest to school. In an English class where she was expected to present on behalf of a fictitious charity she chose to climb on her soapbox over the threatened great apes.

“Spread [brand X] on your breakfast baguette”, she informed her utterly bemused classmates, “and you are spreading the blood of baby orang-utans!”

I paraphrase, but you get the idea.

Similarly the bathroom has come under scrutiny. We are permitted only certain brands of toothpaste, soap, shampoos and so on.

My shaving cream, it must be owned, is not squeaky clean. “Made with palm extracts” reads the label. “Free orang-utan pelt with every 10th purchase” it doesn’t continue.

Feeling the pressure, I perused the options on display at the supermarket. They were limited to say the least.

Pretty much every gel, foam or mousse either contained palmate or was ambiguous in some aspect of its labelling. My favoured tube of Palmolive was seductive still, but unhappily out of bounds and I refuse to use an electric razor.

Then I spied a tub of old fashioned shaving soap, made in France and free of anything derived from palm oil. Excellent. There was even a shaving brush on offer at a price that didn’t make me wince.

A genuine badger hair brush.

And here was the dilemma: badger or orang-utan? What do I care about most?

Clearly the only ethical answer is to grow a beard.

4 Responses to “Badger –vs- Orang-utan”

  1. Gorilla Bananas
    April 24th, 2014 08:20

    Easy decision. Orang-utans are our cousins, yours and mine, whereas badgers are bad-tempered bastards who eat worms. Your daughter is a saint whom the French should revere more devoutly than Joan of Arc.

  2. Perpetua
    April 24th, 2014 18:33

    Another vote for the orang-utans here. Badgers will survive and thrive, but our gentle cousins very probably won’t, except in captivity. :-( Your daughter sounds like a force to be reckoned with already. Just what until she reaches adulthood…..

  3. dolores doolittle
    April 25th, 2014 16:22

    What a sterling job your daughter is doing. And being suddenly palm-oil aware, I hear it`s been known to land monstrously on beaches in huge coagulated dollops. Is there no end to its evil.

    (Yes, grow a splendid beard – badgers deserve support too)

  4. Jon
    April 26th, 2014 08:59

    I have decided that a beard is out of the question. It just makes me look haggard. A compromise has been reached that involves little or no harm to innocent animals. Only the guilty suffered.


Jon Doust

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